Spider-Man: Far from Home delivers at the high standard one has come to expect from Marvel films. Playful, exciting, funny, and occasionally touching, it doesn’t quite scale the surreal, envelope pushing heights of last year’s animated Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse, but it is still a very solid and satisfying entry in the series, almost matching the quality of previous live action instalment, Spider-man: Homecoming.
The plot sees the world still coming to terms with the cataclysmic upshot of Avengers: Endgame, with Peter Parker aka Spider-Man (Tom Holland) off on a school summer holiday European road trip with his classmates, including Ned (Jacob Batalon) and MJ (Zendaya), whom he makes inept plans to woo. On top of this, Peter is quietly dealing with grief over the loss of… well, I won’t say who in case of spoilers. These days, it’s increasingly difficult to describe the plots of the Marvel films without accidentally ruining something for the uninitiated.
Needless to say, the world needs saving again pretty soon, when a mysterious group of interdimensional monsters appear and start wreaking havoc. Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) recruits a reluctant Spider-man to assist Dr Quentin Beck aka Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) in between sight-seeing. At mention of the name Mysterio, anyone who has read the comics will know where the plot is heading.
The cast are all terrific, with Holland still winning in the lead role. An amusing subplot involves a possibly developing romance between Happy (Jon Favreau) and Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), both of whom also make fine contributions. However, I’m going to single out Zendaya for special praise. Her MJ is incredibly smart and charming, with a delicious streak of dark humour and sarcasm. Incidentally, I’m also looking forward to seeing her play Chani in Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming adaption of Dune.
Director Jon Watts handles both the high school comedy and nifty action sequences of Chris Sommers’s screenplay with aplomb. I particularly liked an early gag on an aeroplane (wherein Peter contrives to sit next to MJ and his plan massively backfires). One set piece in Berlin, involving various illusions, is also very strong. It goes without saying the visual effects are well done, and Michael Giacchino builds effectively on his themes and music score from Spider-man: Homecoming.
In short, Spider-Man: Far from Home is a lot of fun. Do make sure you stick around right until the end of the credits, as there are some interesting sequel set-ups in those dying embers.